Review by Geoboi

Reviewed: 07/02/09

Good Game... Lazy Developers...

This is going to be a fast review. I think that anyone who is going to buy (or clearly thinking of it) this game for the Xbox 360 is fully aware of what this game is. So with that said, I'm going to get to the point. Garou: Mark of the Wolves for the Xbox 360 is an exact port of the Neo Geo console version. The graphics, sound, and gameplay system is still the same. Some people say that the graphics look ugly, but you have to remember that the game is over 10 years old. One can't really judge or review a game based on the quality of the game's age... but instead on the game's fun factor itself. It's not a total conversion or a revamp of the game (like Street Fighter 2 HD). It's just a re-release. Game modes on the Xbox 360 includes your typical story, survivor, and practice modes. Those are pretty self explanatory. The new feature (and most alluring) is the Xbox Live (online) mode. Since the online mode is the only new addition, my review is mostly going to be focused around multiplayer.

The online play is incredibly bad. There seems to always be 1-3 people playing so you'll probably never have to wait long for a fight. And if there is no one on, you can always host a server and probably expect someone to join withing 5-15 minutes. I don't really have an issue with the amount of players. It is the lag (latency) that kills the online multiplayer. The lag is severe. So severe sometimes that you must input a command or combo a full 1-2 second ahead of time. That may not sound like much to some, but timing is very crucial in fighting games. Imagine trying to pull off an anti-air move (ex: Butt's Uppercut). You would have to input the command even before the opponent jumps! So rather than fighting on "reaction", you'll be spending most of your time fighting on "anticipation". It's like, "Okay, I think my opponent is going to jump next. Must input my dragon punch motion and hopefully he/she will actually jump in." The majority of players latency is around 100-150. Anything over 150 is pretty much unplayable. =( The smallest latency I've found was 55. However, there is not much difference when you start playing. It's sad really. SNK has some pretty horrible net code. Hopefully they will fix it and update it soon.

In conclusion, I'm glad that SNK decided to bring Garou back to the fans. It's a great game. The really sad thing is that the game could have garnered more fans. The game's lifespan could have been further lengthen just a bit. However, it seems like SNK either got lazy or just have bad net code programmers (I really think it's the lazy part). As I'm writing this now, SNK has also released The King of Fighters 98: Ultimate Match on the 360 too! Talk about milking their games! I've heard that this release also has the same online lag issues. *sighs* If SNK doesn't get their act together and fix their online net code, I wonder if anyone is going to buy the upcoming King of Fighters XII. I'm really worried about it. So is everyone else. It sure doesn't look too good for them...

THE GOOD: Great game with a strong fighting system and nice learning curve. Worth buying if you "must" have this game or have people come over often for offline fighting. The game cost 800 live points.

THE BAD: The online mode is pretty much a disaster. I didn't mention this earlier (because it might just be my own problem and not anyone else), but the controls are a bit awkward. I suggest an arcade stick (or play with the D-Pad rather than the analog stick).

Rating:   3.5 - Good

Product Release: Garou: Mark of the Wolves (US, 06/24/09)

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